Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Four M'sian Riders To Compete In World Equestrian Games

August 15, 2006 17:33 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 (Bernama) -- Four Malaysian riders will showcase their horse riding skills and endurance level at the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany from Aug 20 to Sept 3.

The team, made up of three men and a woman -- all from Terengganu -- will be headed by team manager Dr Balakrishna Polanaidoo and will comprise of Cpl Zulkefli Saari, Mohd Izry Razali and Shamsuddin Abdul Roni with Norlaily Buniyamin, a member of the Doha Asian Games team, the sole woman rider.

Coached by Paul James Brown, the Malaysian riders are down to compete in the 160km Endurance competition that runs across three countries (Germany, Belgium and Holland).

Balakrishna said the route identified for this edition of the Games, held every four years, just like football or hockey World Cups, has been regarded the most difficult by FEI.

"There are many small hills along the route and the current wet season and prevailing chilly weather conditions (12 degrees celcius) there will make it all the more difficult.

"However, our riders have been training very hard for the competition and have pledged to give their best," said Dr Balakrishna after receiving helmets for the team, sponsored by Italian company, Las Helmet here, Tuesday.

He added that Zulkefli, Izry and Norlaily are from the Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable while Shamsudin comes from Ar Raudah club.

Malaysia are competing in the Games for the second time after making their first appearence at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain.

About 150 riders from 40 nations are expected to compete in the Games which also host events like showjumping, dressage, eventing, vaulting, four-in-hand driving and reining.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said thanked Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, for promoting the sport of equestrian and playing an integral role in the team's participation at the World Equestrian Games.

Sultan Mizan who is an accomplished rider, participating in major equestrian events all over the world, was instrumental in sending the team to Germany.


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